Funds spent for Rajapaksa memorial not indicated in annual reports

Investigations have revealed that the funds spent for the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Memorial and Museum by the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation & Development Corporation (SLLRDC) was not indicated in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 annual reports of the Rajapaksa Memorial, Educational, Cultural and Social Services Foundation as current liabilities.

This was revealed in the evidence of the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation Deputy General Manager (Finance) J.A. Pushpakumara, based on the advice of the Attorney General on whether the funds spent on the construction of the D.A.Rajapaksa Memorial and Museum was indicated in the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation annual reports of 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The reason that the funds spent were not indicated in the records was that according to the Board Paper No. HSD-3714 submitted by the then Land Reclamation and Development Corporation Chairman Harshan de Silva, to the Board of Directors dated February 21, 2014, the Board of Directors had agreed to recover the funds spent on the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Memorial and Museum through staging of musical shows and other events, it was revealed.

Hence, based on that decision, no specific person or organisation was named for the recovery of the funds spent, and according to the annual reports of 2014 and 2015 of the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation it is indicated as sales expenditure and not indicated as a sum owed to the company, Pushpakumara’s statement revealed.

It was also revealed that the said Board Paper had been approved by the then Board of Directors of the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation and its former Chairman Liyana Arachchige Prasad Harshan de Silva, Gamaethiralalage Badra Undulawathie Kamaladasa, Sudammika Kevinda Attigala, Saman Kumara Abraham Galapatti and Murukku Devage Mahinda Saliya.

Meanwhile, at the time the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation was under the Urban Development Authority and prior to implementation of decisions taken by the director board, it was required to obtain the approval of the Defence Secretary. Accordingly, as per the order of Circular No. MOD/SEC/PA/01/[115], a concise report of the decision taken by the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation board of directors of board paper no. HSD-3714, was handed over to the then Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

His signature on the said document is proof that he had seen the concise report and had deliberately granted approval knowing very well that it was a construction based on his family’s private needs.

However, although it was determined to recover the monies spent on the D.A. Rajapaksa memorial by staging fund raising events, there was no proper plan or mechanism for the recovery of these funds.

On August 04, 2015 subsequent to a request made by the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation General Manager Mallika Senadgeera, a part payment of Rs. 25 million was paid, it was revealed. But by that time the FCID had already commenced investigations and initiated legal action.

It was also revealed that the Rajapaksa Memorial, Educational, Cultural and Social Services Foundation which was established under Parliament Act No.23 of 1998 with the intention of carrying out social service activities.

Its Chairman was MP Chamal Rajapaksa, Deputy Chairmen former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and D.E.W. Gunasekara, Secretary Uthpalawarna Wijesinghe, Treasurer Lalith Chandradasa and other members were Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and several others. Although it was investigated as to whether the Rajapakse Memorial, Educational, Cultural and Social Services Foundation had entered into an agreement with the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation, no information was found regarding such an agreement.

Meanwhile, although it is required that this foundation carries out an audit annually, no such audit was carried out. Therefore, the FCID has also commenced an investigation on how the Rajapaksa Memorial, Educational, Cultural and Social Services Foundation had earned money. 

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